Most homeowners, especially those residing in older homes, eventually have a problem with air leaks. In summer months, it becomes more difficult to keep cold air in, and in winter months, it becomes more difficult to keep cold air out. Either situation results in a less comfortable house and an increased electricity bill.
While newer, more energy efficient windows are an option, there are also a few strategies you can use to make your existing windows more energy efficient. Here are five solutions for better insulating your windows and improving the energy efficiency of your home:
- Leverage the use of curtains. In winter, keep a set of insulating curtains open during the day to let sunlight in and naturally heat your home. At night, close the curtains to retain that heat. Of course, in summer, you can close the curtains to block the sunlight and keep the heat out .
- Replace your frames. If your old window frames are made from aluminum, you’re probably experiencing rapid temperature transfer in and/or out of the house. To help avoid temperature transfers, you should consider vinyl frames with heat-welded joints which are much more resistant to temperature transfers.
- Use caulk to seal gaps. Shine a flashlight around the edges of your windows at night to find hidden cracks and gaps, then use a caulking gun to seal them off. Be sure to use 100% silicone caulk and remove old caulk before applying new caulk.
- Use plastic insulation in winter. Most hardware stores sell single-use sheets of plastic insulation you can easily install over your windows. It can block any hidden drafty spots without requiring the use of caulk.
- Know when to upgrade. Check your windows by closing them onto a piece of paper. If you can remove the paper without it tearing, your windows do not shut properly, and it’s time to consider upgrading them to a more efficient model.
With these strategies, you can improve how your windows retain the air inside your home. Over time, it should save you a considerable amount on your electric bills.